Graham says he has COVID-19 'breakthrough' infection

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden meets with lawmakers amid domestic agenda panic MORE (R-S.C.) said Monday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, even though he was fully vaccinated.

“I was just informed by the House physician I have tested positive for COVID-19 even after being vaccinated,” he said.

“I started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning. I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms. I will be quarantining for ten days,” he added.

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Graham was one of 17 GOP senators who have been helping advance a bipartisan infrastructure bill, meaning its supporters will be down a vote until he comes out of quarantine. They only need 10 GOP senators to support it if every Democrat does. 

Graham is the first senator known to test positive for the coronavirus in months, and the first known "breakthrough" case among vaccinated senators. A CNN survey earlier this year found that only four out of 100 senators, at the time, were not vaccinated. 

Graham's announcement comes amid growing public concern about the potential for so-called breakthrough cases, when a fully vaccinated person tests positive for the coronavirus. 

Public health officials have stressed that symptomatic breakthrough infections for fully vaccinated individuals are rare and getting vaccinated makes getting a severe case of the coronavirus less likely. 

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than 1 percent of fully vaccinated Americans have had a breakthrough case that results in hospitalization or death.

Graham, in his statement, touted the vaccine, saying that if he wasn't vaccinated "my symptoms would be far worse."

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“I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now," he said.

After largely shedding their masks in mid-May after the CDC loosened its mask guidance for vaccinated individuals, the CDC and the Capitol physician recommended last week that everyone wear a mask when indoors and around others regardless of vaccination status. 

Though the House has mandated masks, the guidance to the Senate is only a recommendation. That sparked a mostly partisan split in the upper chamber. Democrats largely wore masks while walking between their offices and the Capitol, though several shed them when they were on the floor with other senators. 

Republicans have largely stopped wearing masks. 

Graham was spotted in the Capitol on Monday morning and spoke briefly with reporters. He was wearing a mask and appeared to be in a hurry, both of which caught the attention of reporters. 

Spokespeople for the South Carolina Republican didn't immediately respond to a question about if, or when, he alerted leadership or other Senate offices to his test result. 

But Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP warns McConnell won't blink on debt cliff Graham tries to help Trump and McConnell bury the hatchet Trump, allies launch onslaught as midterms kick into gear MORE (R-Alaska), who said she was wearing a mask in accordance with the CDC's new guidance, was not aware that Graham had tested positive. 

"I haven't seen him and I didn't know that," Murkowski said when asked about her mask. "I am wearing it because we're in the District, and the District has imposed a mask mandate." 

A group of senators, including Graham, had gathered on Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinCongress needs to gird the country for climate crisis Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Poll from liberal group shows more voters in key states back .5T bill MORE’s (D-W.Va.) houseboat over the weekend, a source confirmed to The Hill.

Sens. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHeller won't say if Biden won election Former Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Photos of the Week: Infrastructure vote, India floods and a bear MORE (D-Nev.) and Mark KellyMark KellyFive takeaways from Arizona's audit results Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates Overnight Defense & National Security — Congress begins Afghanistan grilling MORE (D-Ariz.) were also at the gathering on Manchin's houseboat with Graham. CDC guidance says fully vaccinated individuals should get tested three to five days after a potential exposure and wear a mask for up to 14 days unless they get a negative test result. 

“Senator Kelly came into contact with Senator Graham during a bipartisan gathering this weekend hosted by Senator Manchin. Senator Kelly is fully vaccinated and following CDC guidelines and the advice of the Office of the Attending Physician," a spokesperson for Kelly said. 

Sam Runyon, a spokeswoman for Manchin, said that he is “fully vaccinated and following the CDC guidelines for those exposed to a COVID positive individual.”

Updated at 5:13 p.m.